HTC to quit India after poor sales

HTC U12+

HTC hasn’t been doing that well across the world, with sales dropping by nearly 68% year-over-year and plans to ax 1500 employees. These global trends might be affecting its Indian operations as well, since a new report claims that the company is packing up and quitting the country.

This might come as a surprise to many, but the writing has been on the wall for some time. HTC is struggling against heavyweights like Apple, Samsung and OnePlus in India’s premium segment and Xiaomi, Vivo, and Oppo in the budget segment. It has a paltry 1% share in the smartphone sector at the moment.

HTC India Turmoil

HTC India’s top senior management including country head Faisal Siddiqui, product head R Nayyar, and sales head Vijay Balachandran have all reportedly exited the company. 3 senior executives told The Economic Times that the brand’s asked most of its 70 – 80 member team to leave with a couple of exceptions.

Even worse, HTC is said to be ending its distribution agreements in India after putting a stop to local manufacturing for over a year. Not everything is ending though, as one source says HTC will sell its Vive series of virtual reality devices online. This might be controlled directly from Taiwan and operate on a small scale.

Another source believes HTC will re-enter the Indian market as an online-only brand once it’s turned around its global operations. As if all this isn’t enough of a headache, the firm also has to deal with irate distributors who are accusing it of withholding crores worth of dues. They’re planning to take legal action against the company.

Also Read: Google’s buying HTC’s Pixel team for $1.1 billion

An HTC spokesperson countered the claims in the report, stating that the brand will continue selling smartphones in India. It’s possible this could simply mean vending existing stock for the time being. She acknowledged the recent reduction in its India workforce, but claims this was done to more appropriately reflect local market conditions.

She also admitted that there were about 10 employees left at HTC’s India office who were “providing full functionality.” As for the lawsuit, the spokesperson said it’s aware of the dispute and plans to work with channel partners to ensure no disruption takes place with regards to its business and customers.